Tuesday 11 October 2022

Colour My Classroom


When I first made The Art and Science of Mathematics, my youngest sister, who is an elementary school teacher, commented that it would be a good quilt for the reading corner in her classroom. That quilt already had a recipient, but I have kept in the back of my mind the fact that Cindy would like a reading corner quilt. 
Initially, my plan was to make a bookshelf quilt, maybe adding a terrarium with a tarantula on one shelf, using black yarn to couch the tarantula. And maybe a cat somewhere on another shelf, also using couching to define the cat. Maybe I would add the titles of favourite books from Cindy's classroom to the spines of the books using the alphabet embroidery function on my sewing machine. That would be fun, but getting around to it was another matter. 
Then one day, as I was exploring my fabric, I took a good look at the fabric in this jelly roll. 
I had originally purchased it to use in a children's/baby's quilt, but since I currently have a stash of 5 or 6 of those, I really don't need another one. My grandson has been given the John Deere Triple Irish Chain quilt, Dinosaur Days, the quilt made from the Northcott Connector Playmats, the small quilt for the floor in his card table tent, Sew Fast and a couple of quilted wallhangings, plus 3 afghans. So, I really don't think that he needs another quilt either.
And then I remembered the reading corner quilt and realized that this fabric is perfect for an elementary school classroom. I also had the one-metre cut of the black print that was part of this line (used in border 2 and the binding), that I decided not to use in Sew Fast. And then, incidentally, I had bought 3 metres of this fabric to back a children's quilt,
not realizing that it coordinated well with the jelly roll. It's just a different line of Crayola fabrics from Riley Blake. (Sorry, the picture is a little fuzzy. It's rulers with the Crayola logo on them). 
I chose the Zig-Zag Shangri-La pattern from the book, Strip Delight, by Suzanne McNeill. I used some of the leftover strips, plus some of the backing fabric to make the third border, making them 2½" wide, rather than the 1½" called for, and eliminated the fourth border, resulting in a quilt about 43" x 59". I didn't need a 54" x 70" quilt for 9-year-olds. By the way, the dimensions given in the pattern are incorrect. The length to cut the width-wise border strips is over by 4" for all 4 borders, and the final width should be 54", not 58" as stated in the book. Unless I miscalculated somewhere. 
For the quilting, I chose Alphabet Soup #2 by Patricia Ritter for Urban Elementz, and used a rainbow variegated thread that I had in my stash. 
I happened to have a mostly full bobbin of the same thread and just wound one more. I wasn't sure how much bobbin thread I would need and variegated thread is expensive, so I have pretty much made up my mind to not use it in bobbins any more and I didn't want to wind any more than I needed. Well, I lost at bobbin chicken about a row and a half before finishing, but I had another part bobbin of a different variegated thread. It was close enough that I doubt anyone will notice the difference, so I used that to finish the quilt. 
I did however, win at batting chicken. 
I had a piece of batting that was just slightly longer than the quilt top. I didn't want to cut another piece from the roll, or go to the trouble of adding extra batting to the end of this piece. 
I also knew I was cutting it close with binding, but I made it. 
However, I did have more of this fabric if I needed it. 
One of the things that bothers me about patterns for pre-cut fabrics is the leftovers. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these. 
Another thing that bothers me is the fact that patterns designed for pre-cuts generally use a specific fabric bundle. And the pattern may call for a certain number of strips/pieces of a given colour or of a dark/light/medium fabric which works well with that particular bundle, but you may not have that number in your particular pre-cut bundle. So you have to wing it. Or use a different pattern that works better with the bundle that you have. 
That's one of the reasons I love my Waves of Blue quilt. Not only is it a beautiful quilt, in my opinion, but it used all of every strip in the jelly roll. 

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